‘She’s said some controversial things but I’m not going to be jumping to stab her in the front – or back’: Harry Potter star Jason Isaacs on why he won’t criticise the author as he praises her for ‘making the world a much better place’
- Isaacs said he won’t be drawn into the trans debate describing it as a ‘minefield’
- The 58-year-old is best known as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter series of films
- He said he will not ‘jump to stab Rowling in the back’ over views on trans rights
- He also said social media debates are often blown out of proportion, referencing US comedian Jon Stewarts claims that Harry Potter’s goblins were anti-Semitic
Jason Isaacs has said he has not joined his Harry Potter co-stars in criticising its author JK Rowling over her views on trans issues because ‘she has poured an enormous amount of her fortune into making the world a much better place’.
The actor, best known for playing Lucius Malfoy in the Potter series, described Rowling’s charity work as ‘unequivocally good’, having worked with her organisation Lumos himself and so he would not ‘jump to stab her in the back’.
The franchise’s younger stars, including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, have spoken out against Ms Rowling when she voiced concerns last year that biological women were being put at risk in favour of trans rights.
But Isaacs said he would prefer to have a conversation with the children’s author before sharing his views on the trans row that frequently dominates Twitter threads.
Speaking to the Telegraph, he said: ‘There’s a bunch of stuff about Jo.
‘You know, I play complicated people, I’m interested in complicated people. I don’t want to get drawn into the trans issues, talking about them, because it’s such an extraordinary minefield.
Jason Isaacs (pictured as Lucius Malfoy in the fourth film) has said he has not joined his Harry Potter co-stars in criticising its author JK Rowling over her views on trans issues because ‘she has poured an enormous amount of her fortune into making the world a much better place’
Rowling voiced concerns that biological women were being put at risk in favour of trans rights
‘She has her opinions, I have mine. They differ in many different areas.
‘But one of the things that people should know about her too – not as a counter-argument – is that she has poured an enormous amount of her fortune into making the world a much better place, for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children, through her charity Lumos. And that is unequivocally good.
‘Many of us Harry Potter actors have worked for it, and seen on the ground the work that they do.
‘So for all that she has said some very controversial things, I was not going to be jumping to stab her in the front – or back – without a conversation with her, which I’ve not managed to have yet.’
The 58-year-old has frequently taken to Twitter to comment on other controversial subjects including refugees, Brexit and Trump, but has since stepped back having grown exhausted of its divisive nature, he told the Telegraph.
He added that he finds some controversies are blown out of proportion such as Jon Stewart’s comments about the portrayal of goblins in the Harry Potter series.
Isaacs said he would like to have a conversation with Rowling before discussing the trans row
‘If you watch Stewart’s broadcast, it was meant to be funny.
‘You have to be wary [of social media rows].
‘I think it’s one of the reasons there’s been this huge growth in WhatsApp groups. A lot of the energy I used to put into Twitter now goes into groups with friends instead.’
US comedian Jon Stewart slammed the author over the goblins that run Gringotts bank in her Harry Potter series on his podcast, The Problem with Jon Stewart.
Stewart, who is Jewish, questioned why Rowling chose to ‘throw Jews in there to run the f***ing underground bank’ in a fictional world where people ‘can ride dragons and have pet owls’.
His comments come after fellow Potter star Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley in the movies, said he sees Rowling like an aunt he disagrees with.
Grint, 33, told The Sunday Times: ‘I liken JK Rowling to an auntie. I don’t necessarily agree with everything my auntie says, but she’s still my auntie. It’s a tricky one.’
The 56-year-old author was absent from the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Reunion released earlier this month – but the film’s cast said her statements about gender were not responsible.
Miss Rowling has been vilified by trans activists for her comments.
In June 2020, she faced accusations of transphobia after she mocked an online article which used the words ‘people who menstruate’ instead of ‘women’.
Then, in September 2020, she faced renewed calls of transphobia after it was revealed the the villain in her latest book, Troubled Blood – written under Rowling’s pseudonym Robert Galbraith – was a male serial killer who dresses as a woman to slay his victims.
The author later clarified that she respected ‘every trans person’s rights to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them,’ and went on to say she would march ‘if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans’.
Grint likened Rowling’s views on trans rights to that of a family member who he disagrees with
She then defended herself in a passionate essay on her website under the headline: ‘J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues.’
Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter, and Hermione Grainger actress Emma Watson, came out in support of the transgender community.
Amid the intense criticism where trans activists were calling for a boycott of the author, Rowling denied she was transphobic.
She tweeted: ‘If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased.
‘I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives.’
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